We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

Which Sarasota hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
96 posts
4 reviews
Save Topic
Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

Driving most likely on a Sunday from Hudson Fl to Sarasota for day trip.

Any suggestions on a route, stops and restaurants?

Would not want to spend the whole day at the beach just a couple hours.

Then maybe an activity for a couple hours, a little shopping, eating, sightseeing and photo stops.

Also do you think it's worth including Anna Maria Island or could we even fit it in?

Experts let me know your suggestions. Thanks very much

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
Level Contributor
45,969 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

You could do one or the other not both really, though you could drive thru AMI to DT Sarasota then cut over to SK., This way would give you views of Sunshineskyway (as you'd go over it) AMI, Longboat, Lido Key, DT sarasota.

This route would be take 19 south to the I275 in Pinellas, then over the Sunshine skyway, the rt19/41 to palmetto/Bradenton, then turn rt on rt41/Manatee ad drive to AMI over the bridges. Then turn left/S onGulf Drive/rt789 until you get to St Armand'scircle on Lido key then go round the circle to DT sarasota. Then go south on rt41 and turn onto rt 758/Siesta Drive to go onto the island.

The fastest way will be cut over to I75 ayway you like, the drive south to either the Bee Ridge Rd or Clark Drive exits (as these lead to the north and south bridge access to SK) and head west to the island.

Edited: 05 September 2013, 18:56
Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
5,427 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

I would suggest just doing one island as well. You won't have time to really see one, let alone two. Siesta has a cute village, with lots of shops and good restaurants. Spend some time at the beach, then eat and shop for a while. Maybe get back before rush hour is at it's worst.

Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
6 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

I agree that trying to see both Anna Marie Island and Siesta Key in one day is too much! AMI has a few quaint shops along Pine Avenue at the north end of the island. If you're up for more upscale shops, I would suggest driving to St. Armand's Circle on Lido Key, lots of shops and restaurants here. You are also within walking distance to Lido Key Beach from St. Armand's.

Tyler, Texas
Level Contributor
7,000 posts
116 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

Hope you are going to Tarpon Springs on another daytrip

Sarasota, Florida
Destination Expert
for Sarasota, Longboat Key
Level Contributor
4,177 posts
105 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

I like Amanx's suggestion of driving through AMI (pausing here and there), on down Longboat to Lido Key and St. Armands Circle. Beach time could be one of the beaches on AMI, or one of the very deserted little beach access points on Longboat, or on Lido. Possible brief visit to Mote Aquarium (at end of Longboat/start of Lido). Lunch and shops around St. Armands Circle. If time permits, maybe then downtown Sarasota, perhaps Selby Gardens for a quick walk-through and photo shots, and then head over to I-75 to get back to Hudson. The other alternative would be to concentrate on Siesta Key as your destination -- that would be a more beachy kind of day, though still with some shops and eating; you could add a short visit to downtown and maybe St. Armands, but I think you'd have to skip AMI.

Boston, MA
Level Contributor
96 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

Wonderful advise. Thank you all.

Tarpon Springs always a lunch stop for us.

Love it there.

New Orleans...
Level Contributor
2,431 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

Have lunch at The Old Salty Dog across from mote marine. Its on the water. There is one in the Siesta Key village also if that's where you end up.

Canada
Level Contributor
9,015 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

As it is a Sunday...I would head for the beach early on in the day. The beach is a popular destination for locals on the weekends. Parking spots go early at Siesta Key.

After a couple of hours of walking and enjoying the Beach at Siesta Key....depending on the time, you could have Lunch in the "Village" where there are lots of options. Shopping there is limited, just some touristy Knicks knacks IMO.

If you prefer , a more upscale shopping experience, I would head over to Lido Key and St Armand's Circle to dine....if you haven't eaten already...and then walk the circle and do a bit of shopping. It is really a unique spot.

Drive North through Longboat Key and a drive through Anna Maria Island, stopping briefly to see a few sights, before heading back to Hudson.

The traffic shouldn't be much of an issue as it is a Sunday.

9. Re: Help on day trip to Sarasota/Siesta Key from Tampa Area

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12 September 2014, 06:23